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Posted: 12/16/2004 6:42:29 AM EDT
Back in the 1960s many felt there was a need for safety in industry. This need had been around for many decades and was one of the reasons that unions had grown so strong. Worker safety was something that many large companies valued but at the same time ignored some very dangerous situations because of cost. Many smaller companies simply did nothing to ensure the safety of their workers. If employees didn’t like the conditions at on company over another they could simply quit and go work at a place that was safer.

In 1969 MSHA or Mine Safety and Health Administration was formed to regulate safety in America’s mines. Building off of this Congress passed the Williams-Steiger Act which was signed Dec. 29, 1970. Their reasoning for passing this act:

• 14,000 worker deaths
• 2 and one half million disabling injuries
• 300,000 new cases of occupational diseases

It’s Purpose: “…to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human recourses.”
It became Effective April 29, 1971. At the time Congress was controlled by Democrats but Nixon, a Republican, signed it into law.

The 1970s were the peak of government regulation in many ways. Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed had spawned the consumer movement, strengthened unions battled it out with management for stronger rules and more benefits, and other groups were asking government to control their safety from products and jobs. The EPA was formed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (so-named in 1970), and many other government regulatory bodies were enacted by congress.

OSHA’s law is written to penalize “Any employer” who violates their rules. The main focus of OSHA’s safety regulations is to control business’s safety practices. Their goal was to level the safety playing field in that all companies had to comply with their rules. Safety in the workplace was now legally the responsibility of the employer and employees were given the right to inform OSHA of unsafe conditions and non-compliance of their employer’s without fear of retribution.

What think yous guys?
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 6:46:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wgjhsafT:
Back in the 1960s many felt there was a need for safety in industry. This need had been around for many decades and was one of the reasons that unions had grown so strong. Worker safety was something that many large companies valued but at the same time ignored some very dangerous situations because of cost. Many smaller companies simply did nothing to ensure the safety of their workers. If employees didn?t like the conditions at on company over another they could simply quit and go work at a place that was safer.

In 1969 MSHA or Mine Safety and Health Administration was formed to regulate safety in America?s mines. Building off of this Congress passed the Williams-Steiger Act which was signed Dec. 29, 1970. Their reasoning for passing this act:

? 14,000 worker deaths
? 2 and one half million disabling injuries
? 300,000 new cases of occupational diseases

It?s Purpose: ??to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human recourses.?
It became Effective April 29, 1971. At the time Congress was controlled by Democrats but Nixon, a Republican, signed it into law.

The 1970s were the peak of government regulation in many ways. Ralph Nader?s book Unsafe at Any Speed had spawned the consumer movement, strengthened unions battled it out with management for stronger rules and more benefits, and other groups were asking government to control their safety from products and jobs. The EPA was formed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (so-named in 1970), and many other government regulatory bodies were enacted by congress.

OSHA?s law is written to penalize ?Any employer? who violates their rules. The main focus of OSHA?s safety regulations is to control business?s safety practices. Their goal was to level the safety playing field in that all companies had to comply with their rules. Safety in the workplace was now legally the responsibility of the employer and employees were given the right to inform OSHA of unsafe conditions and non-compliance of their employer?s without fear of retribution.

What think yous guys?



Essential-but like all unelected bureaucracies, it's gotten WAY too big for its britches. True enforcement seems to have gone by the wayside, and now it seems that only the silliest rules are enforced. This is a system BADLY in need of reform, IMO.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 6:56:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2004 6:59:26 AM EDT by x5060]
OSHA, Protecting stupid people Everywhere.

Found the pic
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 6:58:25 AM EDT
OSHA, it's not just a city in Wisconsin.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 7:01:53 AM EDT
I'd like to see them push for repeal of the silencer tax.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 7:29:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wgjhsafT:
Back in the 1960s many felt there was a need for safety in industry. This need had been around for many decades and was one of the reasons that unions had grown so strong. Worker safety was something that many large companies valued but at the same time ignored some very dangerous situations because of cost. Many smaller companies simply did nothing to ensure the safety of their workers. If employees didn’t like the conditions at on company over another they could simply quit and go work at a place that was safer.

In 1969 MSHA or Mine Safety and Health Administration was formed to regulate safety in America’s mines. Building off of this Congress passed the Williams-Steiger Act which was signed Dec. 29, 1970. Their reasoning for passing this act:

• 14,000 worker deaths
• 2 and one half million disabling injuries
• 300,000 new cases of occupational diseases

It’s Purpose: “…to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human recourses.”
It became Effective April 29, 1971. At the time Congress was controlled by Democrats but Nixon, a Republican, signed it into law.

The 1970s were the peak of government regulation in many ways. Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed had spawned the consumer movement, strengthened unions battled it out with management for stronger rules and more benefits, and other groups were asking government to control their safety from products and jobs. The EPA was formed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (so-named in 1970), and many other government regulatory bodies were enacted by congress.

OSHA’s law is written to penalize “Any employer” who violates their rules. The main focus of OSHA’s safety regulations is to control business’s safety practices. Their goal was to level the safety playing field in that all companies had to comply with their rules. Safety in the workplace was now legally the responsibility of the employer and employees were given the right to inform OSHA of unsafe conditions and non-compliance of their employer’s without fear of retribution.

What think yous guys?




OSHA was and still is a good idea. You must remember that OSHA laws are only minium standards. You must also understand that several of the laws were written by people who never set foot on a construction site or in a mill. I will give you an example: The person who wrote the fall protection standard 29CFR1926.501 never worked or stepped foot on a construction job before writting the standard. She asked a friend of mine to visit one of his sites to see how the law she wrote was working and admitted to him that she knew nothing about construction.

Every time a new standard is passed it must go through congress like every other law where it is watered down. The laws are passed and it is left up to the industry to figue out how to implement the laws.

Most companies are not worried about OSHA. They are more concerned with insurance cost which drive safety conscience companies more. It cost less to have ZERO injuries.

Most OSHA inspectors have no formal safety education and are trained on the job. Many don't know when to apply a standard A and when Standard B should be applied.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 7:51:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRealSundance:
Most companies are not worried about OSHA. They are more concerned with insurance cost which drive safety conscience companies more. It cost less to have ZERO injuries.



That's about the size of it. It's just bad for the bottom line when people get hurt.

I have to put up with (what I consider) some stupid saftey regs. But I just keep telling myself that they are paying me to take the extra time to comply with them.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 7:52:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRealSundance:
OSHA was and still is a good idea. You must remember that OSHA laws are only minium standards.



A good idea...some will debate you on that. I do believe its a good idea as it requires everyone to follow the same "minimum" rules. OSHA attemptes to take Darwin out of the equation by ensuring that in some cases common sense will be enforced.


You must also understand that several of the laws were written by people who never set foot on a construction site or in a mill. I will give you an example: The person who wrote the fall protection standard 29CFR1926.501 never worked or stepped foot on a construction job before writting the standard. She asked a friend of mine to visit one of his sites to see how the law she wrote was working and admitted to him that she knew nothing about construction.


I hear that quite a bit, however OSHA does not care if their rule is stupid or not; if someone at your company violates it and OSHA somehow catches you, your company will be penalized. Its up to the employer to police their own employees to ensure compliance. Employees need training and understanding of the rules to do their jobs the OSHA way.


Every time a new standard is passed it must go through congress like every other law where it is watered down. The laws are passed and it is left up to the industry to figue out how to implement the laws.


Not all the time. Check OSHA Standards Development. They can create their own rules and regulations following the rules posted in that link. OSHA, like the EPA, DOT, etc. are lower law creating bodies. Its like congress saying "we don't have the time, technical knowledge, etc. for this, you handle it." Congress can pass OSHA rules (like the ergonomics debacle they passed before Clinton left office) but it rarely happens. For the most part industry is left to figure it out or work with OSHA to be compliant.


Most companies are not worried about OSHA. They are more concerned with insurance cost which drive safety conscience companies more. It cost less to have ZERO injuries.


Very true. Many fear losing their insurance because of a high number of WC claims much more than the fines levied by OSHA. The fewer WC claims you have, the less expensive your insurance is, the more money the company makes. The problem is that most WC laws are tilted in favor of the employee and with trial lawyers building muti-million dollar cases against one or dozens of employers WC insurance costs continue to rise.


Most OSHA inspectors have no formal safety education and are trained on the job. Many don't know when to apply a standard A and when Standard B should be applied.


I know a few who are on the ball but one I dealt with just recently had no clue, and he was an industrial hygientist. He was amazed that we used wet saws to cut brick so there wasn't a lot of dust. I told him that our company had been doing it for as long as they were in business that that goes back over 50 years. Its a common practice to reduce dust and airborne exposure to silica dust but the OSHA IH guy was most definetley lost.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 8:02:34 AM EDT
I am a safety director for 4 small construction companies. We are usually a subcontractor to a general contractor who builds big high schools, Wal-Marts, Lowes, strip centers etc.

I believe OSHA has played a small part helping to protect workers. They have training programs and safety programs where they work directly with companies. They do show up to a job, take pictures and leave. You may or may not receive a citation through the mail. Employers aren't usually motivated by these potential fines. Especially when you weigh that against the odds of being inspected. My company may only get a fine of a couple thousand dollars for a basic violation. Pennies on the dollar when you think about it.

Having said that, there has been no greater force in improving safety than lawyers' and high insurance premiums. When I started in contruction over 10 years ago, I couldn't get a general contractor to erect guardrails, cover floor holes or put rebar caps over rebar protruding out of the ground. Now, most general contractors we work with have at least one full-time safety guy and are usually beating on the sub-contractors to comply with OSHA regs.

The costs start adding up for a company with a bad safety program. After all, if a general contractor fails to cover a floor hole per OSHA standards and employee falls through and breaks a leg or dies, how is a jury NOT going to award a big sum of money? Then, there's the $40,000-$50,000 insurance claim on top of the jury award. The hits to the pocket book start to add up, their insurance goes up, experience modifier goes up and it starts to become too costly to do business. The profit margin shrinks a little more every year if you do not try to provide a safe workplace.

I'm sure OSHA would like to take the credit for the vast improvement in jobsite safety since 1971, but they are a small part of the pie.

I mentioned 'experience modifier' above. For those who don't know, an experience modifier is an indicator of your company's loss history. A modifier of 1 represents an average (or expected) claims loss history. Anything below a 1, such as a .70, indicates a better loss history than the average company. A modifier of 1.4 means a company has a worse claims history. The company's prior 3 years' claims history is used to determine the experience modifier.

This modfier is applied to your insurance premium. If my company was to get quoted a policy for $500,000, the modifier is applied to the quote. $500,000 X 1.4 modifier = $700,000. The $700,000 is what the company would pay for insurance if their modifier was a 1.4. The company with the .70 modifier would pay just $350,000 ($500,000x.7=$350,000) for the same policy. Now, imagine those two companies trying to submit bids for the same job and how competitive they must be to win the bid. The company paying $350,000 less for insurance will most likely be able to give a better price. Also, some general contractors won't let companies with a high experience modifier even bid their work. Suddenly, accidents and injuries are not just a part of doing business and cannot be ignored.

Currently, our company has a .61 experience modifier. Toot Toot. Sorry for boring anybody.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 8:22:43 AM EDT
Guess:

You and I have pretty much the same job except my main company is always the General on the job (except when we work with Bechtel).

EMR rates, insurance rates, and lawyers have all played their part for sure. The company I work for now ran into the little problem of having an insanely high EMR rate, a lot of law suits, and an accident record that would make you sick. I've turned them around in the last few years but our EMR is still slightly over 1 but hopefully by this time next year it will get below that level. Our EMR years are from 2000, 2001, and 2002. I started with them in 2002 and have really worked hard to get this cleared up.

The type of work we do is a lot more complicated than I'd like to explain which means that I have to take an aggressive approach with management and foremen to get things right the first time. This is also part of the reason that my company had so many claims. When you have 200 people a shift working in a small six floor box on multiple levels getting everyone on the same page can be tough. We also do most of the work except for a few subs so we have a lot of employee exposure.

Glad to see you have such a low modifier rate, keep up the good work!

Link Posted: 12/16/2004 10:14:40 AM EDT
"OSHA's not just a river in wisconsin anymore."

There are still some damn dangerous jobs out there with employers that dont do anything to make the workplace safer.

I had some friends that worked in a bumper stamping factory that still kills or cripples several people a year. There are LE agencies that dont even provide soft body armor to their patrol officers.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 10:21:23 AM EDT
The big bullshit about OSHA is that the feds took themselves out of it. WTF over?
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 10:24:26 AM EDT
Oh Shit Here Again = OSHA
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 10:25:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2004 10:27:01 AM EDT by Dieselman]
Simple - I HATE OSHA!
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 11:28:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wgjhsafT:
Guess:


Glad to see you have such a low modifier rate, keep up the good work!




You've got your work cut out for you! I believe they count the 3 prior years experience not counting the year just completed, as you said. Your efforts will pay off soon when those bad years begin dropping off.

They key for me was the support of our president. He hammered our project managers on safety and stood behind (mostly pushed) me on the safety training and enforcement. Without that support, nobody is really motivated about it. We would fire people for simple things like being caught without safety glasses three times. I'll PM you some things that I felt helped me. You probably are doing most of these things already.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 11:37:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hound:
The big bullshit about OSHA is that the feds took themselves out of it. WTF over?



Not necessarily, OSHA made everyone switch to using those toilet seats that are split in the middle. They did this so OSHA inspectors would not get their necks broke getting a drink of water.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 11:45:00 AM EDT
I work for a municipality that was warned about staffing levels at the FD and other concerns that were in violation of OSHA standards several years ago. (even though IL has the IL Dept. of Labor (IDOL), they adopt OSHA regs by reference every year).

The unnamed alderman said:

OSHA doesn't apply to us...we're a home rule community*


The sad part is... he was serious.


We've seen the inefficient style managers move from private into public sector. We've seen lawyers for the City acknowledge that we were understaffed, and tell us "So?". While the private secotr is CYA'ing, the munis are kissing their employees off. The biggest stick a municipal worker has nowdays is OSHA, thanks to short sighted leaders, and managers and lawyers that think "empowerment" is turning on the lights in the office.

[history & partial threadjack] *For those in non home-rule areas, HR applies to the ability of the municipality to establish revenue generation (taxes) without resorting to a referendum every time. the "tax relief act" or some such was passed a few years back. It mandated that non HR towns referendum all taxes.

Problem was, many towns took out bond issues during the 1980's - at 13%. When they went to issue new bonds to retire the old ones at the higher rates, they had to put the following question on the ballots: "Shall the town of "X" incur bonds at a rate of ..." . All the local idiots saw was "spend" and they'd vote no - effectively paying more for the duration of the bond in taxes due to stupidity, since the projects had already been authorized and completed. Towns had to spend thousands educating the public that they were actually saving money by voting 'yes'.

Chicago used to have 9 Muni bond underwriting houses. 2 of the last 3 merged within 2 years after passage of this bill. [/threadjack]
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 11:59:52 AM EDT
wgjhsafT,
I tried to IM you and email. Let me know if it didn't go through.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 3:38:54 PM EDT
A few of my past projects:










Link Posted: 12/16/2004 3:59:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2004 4:00:43 PM EDT by Helldog40]
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 4:05:17 PM EDT
What do I say when I see OSHA inspectors. Oh Shit Hitler's Arrived. Common sense is important. Having a fire extinguisher two feet to far to the left isn't.
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 4:14:57 PM EDT
Can anyone point to the section of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to establish nationwide workplace safety standards? Anything that even REMOTELY authorizes it?
Link Posted: 12/16/2004 5:08:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2004 5:40:25 PM EDT by Ralph]
I work in construction, I'm a pipefitter, I don't like or agree with many of the OSHA regs. But, I can honestly say they have probably saved alot of lives. Those of you here who never set foot on a construction job don't have a clue how dangerous they can be. You can get killed easily, one of the first things you learn is to watch your ass, because nobody else is going to. OSHA has helped. Little things, like putting guardrails up, wearing saftey harness's when needed, proper storage of chemicals on the job, even little things like hardhats have made jobs a little safer. I remember a sharp lesson I learned as a apprentice, We were working on the 15th floor of a condo in FL, (1981) we were putting sleeves down for our pipe to go through from the floor below, when an electrician started yelling that a guy fell off a landing, we ran to the side of the deck, and there he was, lying in the sand, blood pouring from his mouth, Two carpenters on the ground were trying to give him CPR, He died right there in the sand. He fell from the 12th floor, he was not wearing a saftey belt, and had been warned by his foreman 2 days prior as he had pulled this stunt before, he was landing a load of cement block, got in front of the load to guide the forks hooked on to the crane out and the bundle's strapping broke pushing him off the landing. Had he wore a belt,he probably would have lived, the guy was 22-23yrs old. Stupidty killed this guy, I never forgot that.....
Link Posted: 12/17/2004 5:15:41 AM EDT
Stupidity kills many workers on construction sites. I've seen so many stupide moves its pathetic but OSHA puts the responsibliltiy to ensure that stupidity is not a factor on the employer.

I don't know how many times I've had to get someone's check and send them down the road for continuous safety violations. It gets the union all fired up but in all honestly its for their protection, their fellow worker's protection, and in the long run to protect the company.

I'd say that 90 to 95 % of the workers on a construction site really do care about safety and following the rules for their own protection; the other 10 to 5 % just don't care and those are the guys that need to go down the road on our jobs.

I'm not going to jump into someone's Sh*t for not wearing hearing protection once but if they are not tied off I'm going to try and get them straightened out pronto. It seems a lot of the old timers are the hardest to deal with because "they've been doing it this way for so long." A lot of the new journeymen and apprentices coming into the trades have gone though many hours of safety training and are aware of the rules and follow them.
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